Food by VICE

I Drank a 'Gilmore Girls' Amount of Coffee at Luke's Diner

I got to live like a Stars Hollow resident for an afternoon, drinking copious amounts of coffee and speaking at an unhealthy Lorelai-like fast pace.

by Alison Stevenson
Oct 9 2016, 2:55pm

As a woman in her late 20s, it will come as no shock that I hold the cult television show "Gilmore Girls" in extremely high regard. When Netflix first made the series available for streaming, I cleared my schedule to binge through every episode in an appallingly short amount of time. Some nights, I'd stay up until 5 AM to finish a season. What can I say? It still holds up. Yet what's even more incredible now is the fact that new episodes are coming to Netflix. To promote the upcoming revival, Netflix partnered up with over 200 coffee shops across the country to temporarily transform their businesses into Luke's Diner.

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All photos by the author

The show was one I literally grew up with—it had a good run from 2000-2007—and had a monumental part in shaping who I am today. My adoration for Lorelai and Rory as a young teen is probably why I'm so skilled at speaking at a fast-pace and unable to subdue most of my inner thoughts. Most of the men I've dated hate the show for this reason, but it makes me appreciate it even more. The strong female leads used humor to showcase their intelligence, strong will, and independence, which added to the show's cult status, but more than anything, it was the world around them that made this show so popular. The cast of characters Lorelai and Rory interacted with were equally enjoyable and intriguing. The fictional town of Stars Hollow became more than a backdrop; it was a world that devoted viewers desperately wanted to inhabit, and Luke's Diner was at the epicenter. That's exactly why I recently jumped at the opportunity to go to a "Luke's Diner" closest to me.
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Thankfully, Los Angeles coffee chain Comoncy was taking part in the promotion. I headed over to their Studio City location thinking that it would be less hectic than their Beverly Hills branch, but I was wrong. Very wrong. As I got out of the car, I noticed a long line of (mostly) women—many of whom were cosplaying as Luke (dressed in plaid and wearing backwards caps)—were taking over a large chunk of Ventura Blvd. Excitement was in the air, and I was eager to see if I could order a black coffee and catch a glimpse of Stars Hollow for one afternoon.

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As I entered the coffee shop, I realized what the swarm was all about: a cardboard cut-out of Luke was standing near the entrance with a sassy sign, making of fun of man buns and loud headphones. A very Luke thing to do. The waiters were dressed in plaid and wearing backwards caps revealing the word "Netflix" in red letters. They were cheerful in their interaction with customers, which is definitely not a very Luke thing to do. Apparently, I had missed my opportunity to get free coffee in a specially made "Gilmore Girls" coffee cup, but I ordered some in a regular mug. I'll hand it to Comoncy: They serve a cup of joe that even Lorelai would approve of.

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Right outside the eatery was another sign that said "Luke's," which clung to the glass window by plastic suction cup. Clearly, Netflix was using the word "transformation" quite loosely. However, instead of letting dismay take over, I instead opted to survey the fans around me and observe their moods. It looked like I was the only one not eager to take a picture next to fake Luke. "Gilmore Girls" super fans completely took over this place and to my delight, were embodying the Stars Hollow spirit.

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After the short time it took to recreate Luke's Diner, I noticed that people were still standing around chatting, drinking coffee, and exchanging Gilmore Girls related stories and memories. One woman got a few others to start singing the theme song with her. I kept surveying the crowd, hoping to see a disappointed face, but instead I noticed a baby dressed in plaid wearing a backwards cap, which I creepily asked to take a picture of. At that moment, I realized that it wasn't Comoncy who turned this place into Luke's Diner; it was the people inside.

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Seeing Luke's Diner in this state made me realize "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" just might have a similarly upsetting fate, but at the same time, that might not matter. The cut-out and plaid waiters were enough for fans to get excited again, and maybe the revival will be enough to let fans relive former versions of themselves. I know I sure as hell am going to give it a try. Oh, did I mention Yanic Truesdale (Michel) was there too? That was cool.